Paris protests: helping or harming democracy?

The wave of protests reverberating throughout Paris as I write raise serious questions about the ethics of political activism. Usually I side with the common man, with the working class and the poor, with the downtrodden and systematically disenfranchised. The concerns these groups share are humane, reasonable and difficult to argue against without being selfish or closed off to the concrete realities that dominate many citizens’ daily lives.

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The boy wept after his grandmother passed away. Being far too young to touch the delicate fabric of mortality, the death of a family member served as a jarring affront to the endless stream of time that reached out to greet him. I didn't know, nor did I dare to ask, how she fell ill and when the family came to terms with her scheduled demise.

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